Congratulations President Obama

I recall when Bush filius won his first term. I received emails from several of my lefty friends, whom I love, expressing outrage, shock, horror, etc. One even said, and this is a direct quote, “He is not my president!” There were threats of moving to foreign shores. Opinions were freely given that the American people were stupid. They didn’t get what they wanted and they threw a tantrum.

Well, Mr Obama is my president, and I say Good Luck to him and to us. May he do well and not screw things up too badly. Remember, Mr President, that all your supporters will now come calling with their hands out. Do not forget, whether the story is apocryphal or not: Memento te mortalem esse.

Harry, too bad. I was looking forward to that olive oil.

I’ll get to the wishcasting presidential forecast data, I hope, sometime early next week.

25 Comments

  1. Oh well.
    It’s one thing to tell everyone what you’re going to do. It’s another thing to deliver.
    My own thoughts are that he has promised everything, but will deliver nothing.
    He is the most atractive head of state in the world though,that ought to count for something!
    I too wish him all the best.

  2. Matt,

    Interestingly, I’ve had to calm a few of my really libertarian friends down, as they think Obama will single-handedly transform the US into the USSR. Yesterday!

    Welcome to Soviet Republic of America, comrade!

    Anyway, I think what impressed me the most was how gracious both were, and I earnestly hope that we see a lot of good work done in the coming years. I think we’ll get it– but then again, I always think America will do good. I’m an odd duck that way…

  3. you were a wishcaster yourself…and you ignored the very powerful and very Bayesian inference from the prediction market.

  4. Matt

    Yep – too bad – good fun though – had me watching the contest a bit more than I would have done so. Didn’t pick the winner of the Melbourne Cup either.

    My concern now is the very high expectations from all around the world that are now held of President-elect Obama.

    regards

    Harry

  5. I admit it, I was one of the “Bush ain’t my president” and “those of you who voted for Nader are a-holes” ewriters after the BushI election. Thought McCain would win this one, been in that Briggs camp from the start, but he (McCain, not Briggs!) made some poor decisions (see Palin, S.) and was had in by the media. Lost $10 for my thoughts.

    I assume you checked out Nate Silver’s work at fivethirtyeight.com? Really nailed the predictions/map with his poll-combining simulation exercises. Andrew Gelman had a neat paper with Nate on what to expect each hour after 7 pm as far as predicting the winner. It all centered on VA, which of course wasn’t called until we were fast asleep, so not a useful paper (e.g., Obama takes VA and it is all over by 7 pm Eastern; McCain take VA, GA, and IN and it is a 50-50 race), but got to light a fire under Jade’s butt for a couple hours with it…

    So Joy, Obama is really hot? My wife keeps saying that too. I just don’t see it, but then again what do guys know.

  6. All,

    This article is a fairly good summary of reaction from the losers.

    As late as October 27, 53% of right-of-center bloggers believed John McCain was going to win the election.

    Clearly, that proved to be wishful thinking. With so many conservatives thinking McCain was going to win, you’d think the howling would have been unearthly after Obama’s victory. There should be conservatives threatening to move overseas, on medication, heading off to the psychologist, and non-stop attacks on the American people for being so stupid. Why not? After all, that’s what the left did after their loss in 2004.

    And yet, the most common reaction across the right side of the blogosphere was either a congratulations to Obama, a recognition that having the first black president was a historic moment for America, or some combination thereof.

  7. Dickie veen,
    He doesn’t do it for me but I can see why women would swoon over him, he’s slightly pretty, polished, sophisticated and has excellent posture, reminiscent of an actor playing a part. (come to think of it he is cute) but not Colin Firth enough for me.
    John McCain, is a little limited in movement and I feel that Obama’s comparative youth was more inspiring to many voters. Bush was stiff, lacking animation. These movement skills are common in evangelism; I don’t mean to say that they do it on purpose, It can be cheesy once you notice it.
    Let’s hope Vladimir’s wife is impressed!
    And while I’m on the subject, take a look at the new James Bond. Check out his moves!He’s a little grumpy. I think he needs a new Bond girl. I might say yes this time.

  8. Joy,

    One of the women at work swooned whenever she saw or someone mentioned Obama’s hands.

    Dickie,

    My cheesy model only used historical polling error on a national scale, plus the prior on Republican vs. Democrat victories. It did not look at any state, nor electoral votes, nor did it attempt to quantify any of the politics or the historic nature of this election.

    My prediction, in the end, was about opposite of what happened. That is, McCain 52% and Obama 47%, when the outcome was those approximate numbers but the other way around. So I was off by a — very large — 10%.

    Me and Russ are supposed to finish that damn paper today (the prior stuff, not the polling stuff), so we should have it up on Arxiv soon.

  9. All I see now is that Obama has already made a difference in many people’s lives.

    Yes, America will do good.

  10. I have to take a wait-and-see attitude. If we took all the data from the campaign and tried to normalize it, all we have are outliers. We have no way to develop a regression that will tell us how Obama’s going to govern. I see no pattern, no picture. I looked for substance and came up with nothing.

    I’m just going to take the optimistic, somewhat fearless tack because I have few alternatives.

    Until I’m given reason to invent ODS, I won’t. I’ve spent the last 8 years absolutely cringing at the BDS from the left, and I won’t lower myself to that juvenile level without a “GET THE H**L OFF OF MY FOOT!” reason. It’s about my own self-respect. But once I get poked in both eyes, don’t expect any further civility from me.

    In the meantime, I’ll join the numbers from the right & right-of-center congratulating and wishing him well. I do think it’s more than just a little bit cool that we have someone other than a white male in the office of POTUS; but that novelty will turn out to be pretty shallow if he mis-governs.

    Now, about that “mainstream media”, for whom I have absolutely zero respect left ….

  11. JH, I think that more than ten weeks before someone begins a new job is a poor time to give that person a performance review.

    On the other hand, I’m wondering if a certain amount of the “he’s not MY president” factor was in response to the controversy surrounding the 2000 election. Also, back in the 1990’s, I saw plenty of “Charlton Heston is my president” bumper stickers. You might consider that before concluding that those on the right are less petty than those on the left.

    The thing is, in the 1990’s, I also saw plenty of “Pray for those who hate our president” stickers all of which seem to have disappeared in the last 10 years. I don’t know how I’d factor that in.

  12. Jonathan, you are right, Obama hasn’t officially started his job. So, no evaluation and no prediction of his performance will come from me yet. I just made an observation. His historic victory has touched so many people, especially African-Americans, in a profound, significant way. America is a great nation and it will do good things. I would have said the same thing if McCain were elected.

  13. Good post, Mr Briggs. I also wish you guys good luck. There is a lot of difficult stuff that Obama the POTUS will have to deal with, and the job won’t be easy. I also hope he doesn’t mess up and rises to the challenges the USA faces.

  14. Concerning the “they hate me more than I hate them” small victory of yours, mr Briggs, well congrats at that, but you are only putting yourself in a very simmetrical position to them, when perhaps:

    a) the Obama option isn’t as bad for the right wingers as Bush was for the leftists;

    b) the landslide Obama had isn’t really comparable to the fierce fight in 2000 in any way, where judges ultimately decided a democratic election (the funny jon stewart clip where he says that the “majority… of judges decided the election” comes to mind);

    c) that you are a comparable person to the leftists that claimed the nonsensical things you have problems with. Now, couldn’t a person say the same about the evangelical nation that is mourning about Obama?

    etc.

    All in all, your attitude seems childish, as in “okey, I lost this, but at least I lost it in a better mood than you did, blrrrrr!”, but that’s because I’m not american and so I can dispationately understand this. I know that when you are within such an emotional rollercoaster as this election was, it’s hard to put these kinds of feelings aside (the same could be said about the idiots that claimed to abandon the USA would “McSame” rise to power).

  15. Luis:
    1. The Obama option isn’t as bad as Bush was for the leftists” Give him time! Many of them think Obama will change their life. . Just as they believed full hearted , that Bush was the reason their life needed changing. If life’s not going well…blame the government.
    2. This was a romantic vote How great to say “I voted in the first black president!” This was a clear advantage that was nothing to do with policy. Hence the “this is the most important election in American history” and “History will be made” rhetoric. Now this is out of the way, policy will have to prove itself once again. How boring! The man should be chosen because he is the best.

    I am lucky enough that I will not have to mind what he does with income tax, but will just stare at his hands from now on.

  16. Luis,

    I’ll accept your ding—I might have been kinder—but of course your “Obama option isn’t as bad for the right wingers as Bush was for the leftists” is a prediction. I hope—sincerely—that it is more accurate than my guess was.

    One thing I am looking forward to is a return to civility. I don’t think we’ll see the same level of, at times lunatic, attacks and slurs used against Obama as were leveled against Bush.

    But maybe not. There was a link from Instapundit to this site which reports that there are already two groups on Facebook dedicated to “impeaching Obama.” Asinine.

    I often had to remind my apoplectic lefty friends that “to impeach” is the Congressional equivalent to “to indict”, which is to say, “to formally accuse of a crime.” I have to also remind them that being accused does not make one guilty, that Bill Clinton was in fact impeached and, as we know, was not removed from office.

  17. Hope this doesn’t post twice, sorry if it does.
    Luis:
    1. The Obama option isn’t as bad as Bush was for the leftists” Give him time! Many of them think Obama will change their life. . Just as they believed full hearted , that Bush was the reason their life needed changing. If life’s not going well…blame the government.
    2. This was a romantic vote How great to say “I voted in the first black president!” This was a clear advantage that was nothing to do with policy. Hence the “this is the most important election in American history” and “History will be made” rhetoric. Now this is out of the way, policy will have to prove itself once again. How boring! The man should be chosen because he is the best.

    I am lucky enough that I will not have to mind what he does with income tax, but will just stare at his hands from now on.

  18. The whole world was very unlucky. The next four years are going to be tough on everybody.

    The future is uncertain, so that’s a guess, not a prediction, and certainly not a wishcast. I also hope BHO is not what I think he is, and that his term in office will not be the disaster I expect it will be.

    There is a slight chance economic catastrophe, burgeoning deficits, global cooling, rising warfare, and all the other travails in the offing will gobsmack some common sense back into people. That may be the only saving grace, and it’s an iffy one.

  19. Mike, I agree. Some great things come from real troubles as opposed to imaginary ones.
    One more thing. Madonna’s going home if she’s not home already and we don’t hadve to have Michael Stipes
    So we expect receipt of, I make it eight furry friends in return.
    Thank you.
    PS,
    No, Nine, I forgot heffalump.

  20. Are you talking squirrels, Joy? Cause I got plenty of squirrels. A boat load, as a matter of fact.

    But in trade for those crazies? No thanks. Make me a better offer.

  21. Mike:
    It’s too late to negociate, she’s on her way!
    Not squirrels this time,
    The animals currently reside in the New York public library in the children’s section. They say that Roo got ” lost in the apple orchards”. what?. How careless! Sounds dodgy to me..
    They must be returned before they wander off and come to any more harm.

    (forrestry, mining and hunting gets a mention below)
    http://www.pooh-country.co.uk/Tour2/poohtour/country/country.cfm?do=enplace&ID=2

  22. Mr Briggs and Joy, I’m not saying that Obama will be better to conservatives than Bush was to leftists, I’m not predicting anything, I’m saying that he is regarded as such, today. I’m talking about current perception. It’s no wonder, just see the election charts, Obama did much better than Bush ever did in the moderates, and even in the opposite electorate, which makes my point.

  23. I would also ask you who started this asinine tradition of impeaching presidents, because as far as I can see, it were the neo-idiot-cons who tried to impeach a president because he wanted to hide a personal affair, a president who has had one of the highest approval rates in history, despite all that “moral” political assassination nonsense. Another president, who has the lowest approval rates of history, lied to the american people and started a war, which usually causes a certain amount of death and suffering, and economic fragility. I think it’s no wonder that the leftists who think that Gore lost because of all that idiocy around Clinton’s impeachment (about nothing) wanted Bush to be impeached because of a damned false war.

    I’m not arguing anything, just venting what I saw that leftists in USA thought about.

  24. Luis:
    You have no idea whether those same individuals had the right to vote the last time. One could equally say:
    “The numbers that voted for Obama were nothing like those numbers who voted for the Democratic candidate last time.” And use that to support the view that the Democratic candidate was rubbish the last time, even more rubbish than Bush!
    Did the two sets of Democrat policies differ?
    Not a lot.

    ..but why so angry? You got your own way, and got to eat biscuit’s and drink beer in the process.

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